Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Why is Shopify more suitable for Singapore small businesses.
During this pandemic, we can see many businesses expand or shift their focus to online sales. Apart from selling their products on big online platform such as Amazon, Shopee and Lazada, some of these businesses also started their own online store. The most common options for creating their online stores are 1) WooCommerce and 2) Shopify.
To use WooCommerce, your website needs to be on WordPress. WordPress is currently the most popular content management system used for building websites, and WooCommerce is a free plugin for creating WordPress online stores. Since nowadays most of the websites are built with WordPress and WooCommerce is free, why would any business pay to use Shopify? Here's why.
1) Ease Of Use
Shopify is easy to use and requires little time to pick up. You login to your Shopify account, add products, edit your payment type, manage your online sales operation with ease. In comparison, WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve. A small business owner who did not use WordPress previously will take more time to navigate around the dashboard to perform simple operations.
2) Support and Community
Shopify has a support team to help resolve your technical issues and answer your questions. There is also a community forum where other Shopify users and Shopify Experts can help you with your questions.
WooCommerce support is more limited and users are pretty much on their own to resolve issues with the help from community forums.
There isn't much maintenance required for Shopify. Shopify is quite stable and bugs are uncommon (not including the 3rd party Shopify apps installed). When users encounter bugs, they can contact the Shopify Support for assistance.
WooCommerce requires some maintenance. You need to be responsible for the WooCommerce plugin updates to make sure your online store runs normally. Wordpress is a platform built using multiple plugins. If your WooCommerce plugin does not work with other plugins or your WordPress theme, you need to find a way around it to keep your online store running. Some times, a lot of effort and time are used to resolve plugin or theme incompatibility issues. (One of my worst experience in the past was to redo 50% of my website when a critical plugin was incompatible with my WordPress theme after an update).
4) Singapore Government Grant (PSG)
Shopify is listed as one of the pre-approved digital solution by IMDA. Businesses can save up to 80% on their annual Shopify Plan if they sign up and deploy before 31st March 2021. You can find out more about the grant application from this link: https://www.shopify.com.sg/shopify-singapore-subsidy.
WooCommerce is definitely a useful and powerful tool for your online store. The best part is no monthly subscription is required. However from a small business owner standpoint, Shopify will be a better option. It is easier to use, there is a reliable support team to approach when issues are encountered and little to no technical maintenance is required (A small restaurant, a hair salon, a small printing company may not have the resources to hire a technician to handle this) . And to add icing to the cake, you will save up to 80% on your annual Shopify subscription if you sign up before 31st March 2021.